Don’t be fooled by Captain Shreve’s overall record.
The Gators may be below .500 at 12-13, but the District 1-5A standings show Shreve’s potential. So far, the Gators have won all three of their district games, including a home game against Byrd, the No. 10 team in the state in the LSWA poll released today.
“I don’t think our district record is a surprise if you look at who we played,” Shreve coach Todd Martinez said. “Most of our losses are against teams that are ranked in their class in the state. I felt our pre-district schedule was going to prepare us for whatever we would see now.”
Shreve has lost to Bossier and Farmerville twice, Ouachita, Mansfield, Byrd, North Caddo and Sterlington. After the Gators lost their second against Farmerville, a close 68-62 game on Dec. 18, they fell to 4-9. Many of the players thought their season was over.
“At that point, I thought, ‘This might have been too hard,'” Martinez said. “And some of those games came in tournaments, so it wasn’t just sheduling. But the kids were sitting there wondering if they were any good.
“I told them to forget about our record, that we were starting a new season. We just talked, about what the players thought. I asked them if they thought they could finish first or second in the district. The answer was yes. So, that’s when we decided to forget about the records.”
Shreve rallied to split four games in the Doc Edwards tournament and went 2-2 in the Bossier tournament as well.
“Doc Edwards started the new season for us, and we are 8-4 from that point,” Martinez said.
The Gators will finish the first half of district play this week at Haughton on Tuesday night and at home against Parkway Friday. Expect Shreve to stay focused.
“Anyone in our district can win on a given night, just because the coaches are so good,” Martinez said. “If you aren’t prepared, or the kids don’t shoot well, you can easily lose.”
The Raiders (17-3, 4-0) will finish the first round of District 1-4A play at Benton (7-13, 0-3) Tuesday night.
“Hopefully we can get to 5-0, but on the road anything can happen,” Huntington coach Mack Jones said. “We are expecting a hard-fought ballgame.”
As the Raiders turn the corner to the home stretch of the regular season, Jones is still getting his rotation settled. With forward Johnny Woodard back (he became eligible in the second semester), Jones has more options.
“That’s a big plus for us,” Jones said. “We have had to adjust though. Some guys were playing out of position until he got back. We welcome him back, because we know what he adds to our team, to our chemistry. A lot of people counted him out, but we kept working with him academically. He’s back to where he needs to be.”
Byrd cracked the LSWA rankings for the first time this week. Huntington moved from No. 7 to No. 6 in the 4A poll, and Bossier held steady at No. 1 in 3A.
Mansfield jumped from No. 6 to No. 5 in the 2A poll, and North Webster went from unranked to No. 9. Zwolle is now No. 3 in the B-C poll after debuting at No. 5 in the season’s first release last week.